Drug possession, distribution, or trafficking are serious felony charges in Louisiana. The prosecuting attorney has the duty to seek a conviction and has the benefit of the full support of state law enforcement officers and crime laboratory technicians, among others. They will do all that they can to convict those charged with these crimes. Even the possession of drugs that are legal, but for which there is no valid prescription, may result in serious penalties. If you are convicted, you could face jail time, fines, probation, mandatory random drug testing or counseling, and a permanent criminal record. Having a permanent criminal record may make life much more difficult for you when it comes to obtaining employment, housing, or government benefits. Drugs and Narcotics Attorney Baton Rouge LA
Drug distribution and drug trafficking charges are considered far more severe than mere possession charges. The courts come down extremely hard on drug trafficking charges. If you are being charged with drug trafficking, it is important to speak with a Baton Rouge criminal defense attorney that has the experience and knowledge to defend your case. In some cases, an experienced attorney may be able to get the charges dismissed or reduced. Sometimes, evidence was seized illegally or does not have any association with drugs. One of the reasons why it is so important to speak with an attorney is that he or she can protect your rights from being violated by law enforcement agents.
A drug conviction comes with severe repercussions, regardless of whether the individual is an addict or made a one time mistake while experimenting with drug use. A violation can potentially jeopardize your entire future. Moreover, Louisiana law may impose a mandatory minimum sentence for some drug related offenses. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
The legal system in Louisiana does not lightly punish violations involving drugs, narcotics, or controlled dangerous substances. Cases involving drugs and narcotics are often classified as felonies. Getting caught with any scheduled illegal substance—whether it be methamphetamine, heroin, fentanyl, crack, cocaine, marijuana, prescription pills, or legend drugs—comes with severe direct costs and potentially serious collateral consequences. Further, even seemingly minor infractions, such as simple possession of marijuana, can result in enhanced penalties for a second, third or subsequent offense.
If you, or a loved one, are charged with a drug or narcotics offense, you should consider contacting an experienced Baton Rouge criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. You should work with a lawyer that you can rely on to be by your side for the duration of your case. David E. Stanley, APLC defends and protects the legal rights of good hard working people such as yourself. He has the knowledge and experience necessary to formulate and present a powerful and compelling defense on your behalf. He is well-known for paying close attention to the smallest of details. Because of his nearly 40 years of experience in criminal trials, he will do all that he can to find the vulnerabilities in the prosecution’s case and raise meritorious legal defenses on your behalf.
Mr. Stanley is aware that the criminal process can be very stressful because it gives the impression that you have no control over the way things will unfold. He will remain by your side and guide you every step of the way by keeping you informed about what is happening, what it means for you and your case, and the options and choices available to you to resolve your case quickly, efficiently, and in a manner that serves your best interests. The power lies in obtaining, evaluating, and understanding all of the relevant information and presenting it in an effective manner. It helps reduce feelings of helplessness, unpredictability and fear to understand what is happening and what is likely to occur. You are more likely to win a case if an experienced and successful drug crime lawyer represents you. Additionally, you will have a greater capacity to make informed decisions with a clear head and a decreased likelihood of acting rashly out of fear or ignorance of your legal rights. Drugs and Narcotics Attorney Baton Rouge LA
What To Know About Drugs And
The possession, use, distribution, trafficking, transportation, manufacturing, and cultivation of illegal or “scheduled” controlled dangerous substances are all against the law at the federal and state levels. In Louisiana, there are five schedules of controlled dangerous substances. They are Schedules I – V and they are found in Louisiana Revised Statute 40:964. Schedule I applies to the most dangerous or addictive drugs and violations with respect to Schedule I substances carry the most severe penalties. Schedule I substances include opiates and opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, stimulants, synthetic cannabinoids, and other miscellaneous substances. Surprisingly, marijuana is a Schedule I drug in Louisiana.
When drugs are “scheduled,” the federal government, and the various state governments, have promulgated laws, rules, and regulations that restrict how the drugs included on each schedule are used, possessed or handled.. States tend to follow the federal government’s lead in deciding whether to put a drug on the schedule, and if so, on which schedule, except for marijuana and synthetic cannabinoids. Some state laws have made possession of cannabis legal for medical or personal use legal.
A drug or narcotics conviction may have serious ramifications. If you have been charged with a drug and narcotics violation, this article provides an overview of some of the common charges that are typically filed in drugs and narcotics cases.
Types of Criminal Charges in Drug And Narcotics Cases
Possession of Scheduled Drugs
The most basic drug charge is possessing illegal drugs, which punishes defendants with illegal substances on their person or under their control. This charge does not necessitate proof of intent or ownership. For example, possessing someone else’s cocaine or heroin could result in criminal charges.
A person found to possess illegal drugs may face a simple possession charge or an enhanced charge depending on the amount of narcotics contained or proof of intent to distribute the drugs. According to the law, investigators can sometimes infer the purpose just from the weight of the drugs. This is because a large quantity of drugs is more than what a person would typically have or use for personal consumption. This creates the inference that the person possessing such a large quantity of drugs intends to distribute them for profit. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
So, for example, if a person knowingly or intentionally possesses an amount equal to or more than the specified quantity of a Schedule I drug, he shall be considered to have violated the provisions pertaining to the manufacture or distribution of the drug rather than possession of the drug. Thus, means that possession of two and one-half pounds or more of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, synthetic cannabinoids, or chemical derivatives thereof, is considered possession with intent to distribute those drugs. For any other Schedule I controlled substance, possession of 28 grams or more will be considered possession with intent to distribute the drug and will be subject to more severe punishment than for possession of that drug. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
A drug possession charge may be brought against persons possessing prescription drugs if that person does not have a valid prescription for them from a medical practitioner while acting in the course of his professional practice. In addition, because prescription drug abuse is such a public health crisis, some states even make it illegal to possess lawfully prescribed medications outside of their original pharmacy packaging.
Drug crimes sometimes occur even for prescription medications. For example, a crime may occur as a result of the unlawful acquisition of prescription painkillers or other drugs without a medical need or a valid prescription from a qualified medical doctor. Prescription drugs are medications regulated and controlled by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They can only be acquired with a valid prescription from a physician acting in the course of his professional practice. Some patients, and other persons, commit drug crimes by doctor shopping, forging prescriptions or by prescription fraud. Doctor shopping occurs when the offender goes to several different doctors to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same drug, or type of drug. Sometimes this is also accomplished by prescription forgery such as illegally duplicating a prescription, altering a prescription or physician’s signature, or even by creating a counterfeit prescription. Prescription fraud may also include other actions taken by the offender to obtain a prescription drug without a prescription. Often, the offender will commit a prescription drug crime in order to acquire pain medications such as Hydrocodone, Oxycontin, Valium, Morphine, Ativan, Vicodin, Percocet, and Xanax for personal use or for resale purposes. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
Drug Distribution, Trafficking, And Dealing
It is illegal to sell, trade, or exchange scheduled drugs under drug distribution or “trafficking” laws. Some states distinguish between selling drugs for profit and sharing drugs for personal consumption. Drug distribution, or drug trafficking, is typically charged as a felony, and it becomes more serious when the quantity of drugs is greater than that specified in the particular criminal statute. As an example, La. R.S. 40:966(C)(4) provides that penalty for possession of heroin, or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of heroin or of its analogues, increases from not less than two years nor more than four years to two years nor more than ten years when the aggregate weight is two grams or more but less than twenty-eight grams.
Further, prosecutors are now bringing homicide charges against the seller, dealer, or other person who provided the drugs to the user when the drugs usage results in the death of the user. In addition, increasing penalties are possible if drug dealers or traffickers possess, or use, firearms while possessing or selling drugs or narcotics.
Even minor drug dealing, such as one person selling a small portion of scheduled drugs, can result in felony charges. While the penalties for drug possession with intent to distribute may be less severe than those for selling more significant amounts, they may still result in a lengthy term of imprisonment and a felony record.
Another type of drug crime is manufacturing, which refers to the process of making or producing a controlled dangerous substance. For example, to knowingly or intentionally create or operate a clandestine laboratory for the unlawful manufacture of a controlled dangerous substance is a felony punishable by imprisonment at hard labor for not less than five years nor more than fifteen years, and, in addition, the offender may be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than twenty-five thousand dollars.
The production of methamphetamines (commonly known as a “meth lab”) is another type of drug manufacturing that frequently results in criminal prosecution. This is a hazardous, illegal activity due to potentially lethal chemicals in the manufacturing process and the possibility of an explosion. Those who are involved in the operation of a drug manufacturing operation typically face lengthy prison terms if they are convicted.
Caught Possessing Drug Paraphernalia
In a broad sense, “drug paraphernalia” refers to any apparatus used to prepare, inject, inhale, or conceal illegal drugs. It also refers to any apparatus used in producing, packaging, or concealing unlawful substances.
The following items are some examples of drug paraphernalia, but the list is not exhaustive:
- Pipes and bongs
- Baggies, scales, and agents for cutting
- Rolling papers
- Needles, syringes, and complete injection kits
Possession of drug paraphernalia is a misdemeanor crime. But, increased penalties may result if the drug paraphernalia is sold or given to a minor.
The penalties imposed upon conviction may be quite severe depending on the type of drug involved, the quantity of the drug, and the purity of the drug, and whether or not the offender has a prior criminal record. The judge may sentence the offender to a lengthy prison term, a large fine, or both. Further, the sentencing judge has the authority to order the seizure of cash, vehicles used in the commission of the crime, and other types of personal property used in the transportation or distribution of the controlled dangerous substance. In light of these potentially life-changing penalties, and the potential collateral consequences of a conviction or guilty plea, retaining the services of David E. Stanley, APLC as your legal counsel is an absolute necessity if you are seeking to fight the charges or to mitigate the potential criminal consequences.
Make Sure Your Legal Rights Are Protected in Court
Both the United States Constitution, and the Louisiana Constitution, provide you with important legal rights with regard to drug testing. David E. Stanley, APLC knows how to advocate on your behalf to preserve and protect your constitutional rights, and defend how to best defend you, in a court of law. When appropriate, he will file pretrial motions to protect your rights, seek to have the charges against you dismissed, or seek have the evidence seized during an unlawful arrest, or search, suppressed by the court. He will also carefully and thoroughly examine and cross-examine witnesses to disprove or discredit the allegations that have been made against you.
He will fight to prevent the admission of damaging evidence and testimony because he is knowledgeable about criminal procedure and evidence in both federal and state courts. If he cannot secure a complete acquittal, he will attempt to negotiate with prosecutors for a lesser charge or a reduced sentence. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
Frequently Asked Questions:
I Have Heard A Lot About Fentanyl Lately, What Schedule Is Fentanyl On In Louisiana and What Are The Penalties?
Fentanyl is a very powerful substance that can be fatal even in relatively small amounts. In Louisiana, fentanyl is a Schedule II controlled dangerous substance. Upon conviction for possession of an aggregate weight of less than two grams of fentanyl, or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or its analogues, the offender will be punished by imprisonment with or without hard labor, for not less than two years nor more than four years. Upon conviction for possession of an aggregate weight of two grams or more, but less than twenty-eight grams, of fentanyl, or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or its analogues, the offender will be punished by imprisonment, with or without hard labor, for not less than two years nor more than ten years and may, in addition, be required to pay a fine of not more than five thousand dollars.
Upon conviction for the manufacture or distribution of any amount of fentanyl, or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or its analogues, the offender will be subject to imprisonment, at hard labor, for not less than five years nor more than forty years and may, in addition, be required to pay a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars.
However, if the offender unlawfully distributes or dispenses fentanyl or a mixture or substance containing a detectable amount of fentanyl or its analogues, which is the direct cause of serious bodily injury to the person who ingested or consumed the substance, the offense will be classified as a crime of violence, and the offender will be subject to imprisonment at hard labor for not less than five years nor more than forty years. At least five years of the sentence of imprisonment will be imposed without benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
Finally, the offender may also be required to pay a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars.
Competent and Dedicated Representation
If you have been charged with manufacturing, distribution, or possession of: fentanyl, cocaine, crack cocaine, marijuana, heroin, methamphetamines, prescription drugs, ecstasy, PCP, or LSD, you could be facing life-altering penalties. An arrest can cost you more than just your money and your liberty. A conviction can follow you throughout your life. The actions that you take now to defend yourself can have a dramatic effect on your future. Hire a knowledgeable, skilled lawyer with experience defending in drug cases. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
David E. Stanley is a tenacious lawyer who will act quickly in your best interests to avoid or mitigate the consequences of negative outcomes should you be in the unfortunate situation of being accused of drugs and narcotics crimes. He can help you throughout the entire legal process and work with you to seek the best possible outcome.
If you call Mr. Stanley today, you will speak with a seasoned attorney that will be able to review your case and inform you of your best course of action at this time. Having your case thoroughly reviewed early on is a key and important aspect of your case. It could mean the difference between serving jail time and getting your charges dismissed. Providing your attorney with as much time as possible to prepare before your case goes to trial will better your chances of having a strong and effective defense. In order to give yourself a fair chance, you should speak with an attorney that can provide you with the answers you need today.
Mr. Stanley provides professional criminal defense services to individuals charged with drug or narcotics offenses in Baton Rouge and throughout the state of Louisiana. Whether the offense involves misdemeanor marijuana possession, or serious felony drug charges, he has the knowledge and experience necessary to formulate and present a powerful and compelling defense on your behalf. If you, or a loved one, have been arrested or charged with a serious drug or narcotics offense, contact him now and let him get started putting his knowledge and experience to work for you.
If you have decided to fight your drug charges, and protect your good name, no matter what it takes or the cost of doing so, David Stanley is a distinguished and well respected criminal trial attorney experienced in defending felony drug cases in Louisiana. Call David now to schedule your completely confidential and in-depth drug defense strategy session. Use the time available to you wisely and efficiently to build a strong defense. Get started on your defense today with and experienced drugs and narcotics attorney. Drugs And Narcotics attorney Baton Rouge LA
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David E. Stanley, APLC
1055 Laurel Street, Suite 2
Baton Rouge, LA 70802